After a weekend full of wedding festivities, I have party food on the brain. Feeding one hundred people at once is no easy feat, you know? I have enough cooking and restaurant experience to really appreciate the planning and preparations that go into big events… which is not to say that I want to take on the task myself. Oh no! I’m thrilled to sit down and eat dinner with friends while the dirty dishes disappear like magic.
Since we’re entering the season of potlucks and barbecues, I thought now might be the perfect time to share my go-to peanut sauce. It’s been the backbone of my peanut noodle dishes and the dip for spring rolls. You can drizzle it on steamed or roasted vegetables or tropical fruit for some extra protein and tons of flavor. It also makes a stellar veggie dip, which are notoriously full of preservatives. It’s creamy, savory, a little spicy and totally satisfying. Make some and you’ll want to drizzle it on everything!
I like this sauce the way it’s written below, but feel free to play around with it. Maybe you want a more traditional Thai peanut sauce, which you could make by substituting coconut milk for the water. Maybe you want an extra burst of fresh flavor, in which case a squeeze of lime juice and/or some chopped cilantro will be just the ticket. Maybe you want to thin it out some more with water or coconut milk or lime juice. Please let me know how you like it!
- ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- ⅓ cup reduced sodium tamari or reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
- 1½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger or ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 to 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more for sprinkling
- Optional garnishes: sprinkling of chopped roasted peanuts and additional red pepper flakes
- In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients until well blended. If your peanut butter is particularly thick, you may need to add a bit more water to thin out the mixture (adding water will mellow out the flavor as well).
- Feel free to adjust to taste here—for example, sometimes I want my sauce more savory and add another clove of garlic, or a little sweeter, so I add extra honey.
- If you're serving the sauce as a party dip, transfer it to a serving bowl and sprinkle with chopped peanuts and red pepper flakes for some visual interest!
Make it vegan: Use agave nectar or maple syrup instead of honey.
Make it gluten free: Be sure to use gluten-free tamari, not regular soy sauce.
Storage suggestions: Store this dip in the refrigerator, covered, for up to a week. You may need to whisk it again before serving or wake up the flavors with a little splash of vinegar.